Spinach pistachio pesto
Maybe it’s from watching one too many episodes of Popeye growing up, but I love spinach. I try to eat at least a little spinach every day, whether it’s a simple salad, sauteed with pasta, or in smoothies.
So the other day when I was hankering for some summertime flavors, I decided to use some baby spinach as a stand in for part of the basil in a pesto recipe I ran across in Lidia’s Italy in America cookbook. Sure, I mixed in some basil, but the spinach gave the pesto just the right consistency and bright shade of green. As Lidia suggested, I mixed the pesto in with my pasta. We used the extra as a dip for the bread. Next time, I’d skip the pasta and just serve the pesto with the bread. I was literally scrapping the bowl of the food processor with bread to get every last drop–it was that good.
Getting kids to try it tips:
- My youngest will eat just about anything if it’s dippable. She gave the pesto rave reviews.
- My tween isn’t a spinach fan. So I thought I might tempt her to give it a try if I mixed it with something she does like–pistachios. She tried the pesto, said it was, “Okay,” and left the rest untouched on her plate (uh, I ate it later;). She didn’t like it this time, but she was at least willing to give it a try, especially when she knew something she liked was in the mix.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: About 1 cup
1 1/2 cup packed baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves (opt.)
1/4 cup pistachios
1-2 garlic cloves
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (opt.)
2/3 cups olive oil
1 tsp. white vinegar (or fresh lemon juice or my preference, white balsamic vinegar)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- In a food processor, pulse together the spinach, parsley, basil, garlic, and pistachios.
- Slowly pour in the olive oil. (In my Cuisinart, you can pour the liquid into the feed tube and it works perfectly.)
- Process the ingredients until smooth.
- Add in the pepper, if using, cheese, vinegar, and adjust the seasoning.